There it was. The game on Marian Hossa's stick. The $8 million man had a short-handed breakaway to put the Hawks in front of an inspired Stars team, but there was only one problem: He wasn’t able to finish. On the other end, moments later, Steve Ott did and that was it for the Hawks in a wild one in Big D as they lost 5-4.
Tomas Kopecky’s short run of good play may have taken a turn as he spent almost half the time -- four minutes -- in the penalty box as he did on the ice. His boarding penalty in the third led to the Ott game winner, but this one may have been lost much earlier.
Not since the Hawks played the Stars in mid-October did Cristobal Huet have a worse game. He gave up four goals on 10 shots before being pulled. Ironically, the goal that sent him to the showers -- a deflection off of Troy Brouwer -- wasn’t his fault, but coach Joel Quenneville had to do something to stop the bleeding.
The fast pace of the game was surely to the Hawks benefit but the payoff never came. The Stars got outshot 37-24, but hung with the Hawks despite trailing 3-2 after the first period. The visitors only had 16 shots in the final 40 minutes.
Defense will be the water cooler talk after this one. The Hawks third- ranked penalty kill gave up two goals. That’s the first time they’ve given up more than one since November 27. And now the Hawks have give up nine goals in their last two games, the most in two consecutive all season.